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How to piss off a fellow maintainer for a whole year

So, tonight I tried to relax myself a bit because I had enough problems of my own to think about. One of the things I tried to clear up yesterday, as I wrote, was the ALSA guide that continued to encourage users to use in-kernel drivers that are supposedly maintained by kernel team, but which causes headache for me anyway because the problems are usually reported by errors in userspace, rather than in kernel oops or similar.

I asked already some time ago for the guide to be changed, as I’m the one maintaining ALSA, I thought (and I still think) I should be allowed to tell what the users are suggested to do. I got stopped, an alleged “kernel team” that is composed by dsd alone said they were going to support in-kernel ALSA. I asked them for help with ALSA then, to discern which errors belonged to who. And I got nothing, not even afterward up to now, because phreak didn’t have much time and got into a break right after joining the ALSA herd (can’t blame him though, for anything in here — this was later though).

When I ask it again, I still got the same answer, I even wrote it on Planet, and got as a result again dsd blogging against me telling users to use in-kernel ALSA… to which point, I said okay, someone else has to maintain ALSA because the situation is not what I like, and I’m not paid by anyone to maintain it; genstef supposedly took over the ALSA packages (that by that time were already well documented, so there can’t be the excuse that their status was bad when I left them); took three weeks and one skipped release to bring me back to ALSA, as I was having issues myself, that were fixed in newer releases; this was the time when I created the separated ALSA herd, genstef didn’t join, I was back alone again.

Now, after an year and a half taking care of ALSA alone, clearing up the mess that there was, get keywording cleared up (why leaving ~sparc and sparc keywords on a package that does not build at all? Weeve knows what I mean), get all the releases out, beside the one while I was supposed not to maintain ALSA anymore, and one or two when my ADSL was mute last August, and writing a throughout documentation on the quirks of the packages, not counting the quick handling of an alsa-driver snapshot on 2.6.19 release – that solved problems for a few people, for which kernel 2.6.19 had the worse drivers ever – one could hope that I gained the right to decide what the users are supposed to do.

Seems like it’s not that way, as jkt called “Kernel Team” for help, because GDP already decided some months ago that users should be encouraged to use in-kernel drivers. Now with all due respect to Jan, Daniel, Josh and Shyami, Why should GDP decide what the users are told? They are documentation team, they does not handle the bug in any case. And in a dispute between “Kernel Team” and “ALSA Team”, why should Kernel team get an advantage voice over this, considering that ALSA team is the one receiving the bugs for the userland that might and often are caused by the kernel ?

Luckily, Jakub does a great job by asking people to try alsa-driver when they report issues, and that makes me breath better, but it’s still a workaround, not a fix.

So right now I’m pretty much pissed off, and this time I’m not going to give up too easily. I’m doing my maintainer work in addition to my daily job at the best I can, I give up my own free time, sometimes I gave up my own sleep, to handle everything as smoothly as possible. I interrupted a long-awaited break to take care of KDE and I was attacked because I applied the most basic keywording policy.

As much as I feel responsible for my users, it’s developers that are pissing me off lately, treating me like I was the village’s fool, so I’m all for giving up maintainership of ALSA and PAM, no matter whether someone is going to take care of them or not, because the situation is just ruining my health and my life. If I have to count nothing, I won’t be doing anything, too, as everybody who does even a little, to me, counts something, in general.

Comments 6
  1. You said you were going to leave Gentoo, and maybe you should. You are being treated incredibly badly by these people, and your work would be appreciated far more in other projects.Hope it works out mate.

  2. Dude, you’re doing a great job with KDE and be sure that a lot of people appreciate your work.Don’t forget that only people that are unhappy tell it, those who are happy … are just happy 😉

  3. So drop ALSA. Don’t loose any sleep over it and let the “Kernel team” deal with the mess. If there is no ALSA team or if you’re not on it anymore you don’t get the blame either (at least not by us users who actually bother to find things out (yes, we do exist)). It’s not like you’re paid to maintain it and if you want to walk away, walk away.Sure, it’s not a desirable situation for us users but if you don’t find the current situation to your liking, just drop it in a convenient cesspool and concentrate on KDE or whatever you feel like.Be sure that your work is appreciated. There is a Swedish saying, “Hälsan tiger still.” Roughly translated to “Health is silent”; meaning if there is no cause for complaint you don’t say anything at all. It’s human nature, I’m afraid.

  4. I’m also a happy user. I really appreciate all the work you do for Gentoo, which ultimately is for us, the users. I would be very sad to see you leave, so I hope the troubles within the Gentoo dev community can be resolved.

  5. I’m very impressed with your never-ending lack of enthusiasm and fighting for what you think is right. Seeing you blog about these (endless?) woes really make’s me realize what work you developers put into this awesome project (Gentoo). Im convinced that when time comes up and im experienced enough, i will share my effort into this project as well.

  6. “I’m doing my maintainer work in addition to my daily job at the best I can, I give up my own free time, sometimes I gave up my own sleep, to handle everything as smoothly as possible.”You only have one life, make your choice as early as possible about if this is worth it.Maybe your energy would better be spend somewhere else.Anyway, you are doing a great job.

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